It took 20 years, but the tourism industry in Michigan finally overcame opposition from teachers unions and local school boards and got its after-Labor-Day start day for schools. The governor signed the requirement into law Thursday. Margaret Trimer-Hartley, spokeswoman for the Michigan Education Association, tells the Detroit Free Press that her union opposes the change because it promotes “a lousy culture of education” that makes tourism more important than schools. She says it erodes the control of school boards and will result in longer days that aren’t conducive to learning. Full story here. Further coverage here and here on what it all means.
Teachers will have more time to prepare for the school year ahead during the longer summer, but then less time for training opportunities during the school year. Most states that are big summer tourist destinations would benefit from such a move. More economic development is of course often good for schools. But is taking the decision away from local school districts the right move? Many districts there already start after the holiday. Now, they all will. Like it or not.